Monday, June 28, 2010
Faithfulness to the Lord can be tested.
You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him.
This is a call to faithfulness to the Lord. It is a command surrounded by a warning to not drift into any kind of idolatry. There are three ways in which the worship of other gods might drift into Israeli society. These were to be guarded against.
The first warning (Deuteronomy 13:1-5) is to guard against false prophecy. It was likely that someone might initially seem to speak words from God. They might twist His words to their own agenda. That kind of thing might even be accompanied by some display of unusual spiritual power. But if the prophet leads people away from the worship of the Lord, he is to be rejected by the people and executed. He is an idolater.
The second source to guard against was close association of family or friends (Deuteronomy 13:6-11). If anyone wants to advocate the worship of anyone by the Lord God of Israel, they are leading people into idolatry. The temptation might come from close associations and thus be socially complicated, but it is still to be dealt with severely.
The third influence in this chapter (Deuteronomy 13:12-18) was from cultural forces outside immediate personal contact. These cultural forces were never to be allowed to twist thinking towards the acceptance of idolatry. Fierce loyalty to God was to mark all the relationships with family, with friends, and even with the culture in Israel. And they serve as reminders to watch these relationships in ourselves today.
- Posted with my iPad. The Apple Kool-Aide tastes fine.